Carole Schroeder’s drive lies in helping people with enduring mental illness to live a meaningful life.

Her wish is always the same: that they see themselves for who they are, not the complex challenges that can so easily overwhelm them.

“I like to think I can help them see that they’re not their mental diagnosis, or the stigma that surrounds that illness,’’ says Carole, who has worked in the mental health sector for the past 30 years.

A psychosocial Recovery Coach, Carole is paving the way in a new approach to recovery-oriented practice within the NDIS.

The Recovery Coaching role has been introduced to address a gap in services for people with long-term mental health challenges, which can episodically compromise day-to-day life.

Having cared for a family member with profound mental illness, Carole knows how difficult it can be to navigate systems and find appropriate supports.

Recovery Coaches are there to help with this, and can assist participants to engage with the NDIS and collaborate with a broader system of supports specific to their personal recovery.

“There are many layers, and its takes focused listening, patience, and persistence to engage the best services to ensure the recovery pathway is the most appropriate,’’ Carole says “and to support the person to lead a life that makes sense and is meaningful to them’’.

In recent weeks, Carole has been working with two NDIS participants to increase their strengths, resilience and decision-making.

For one client, this has meant working closely with family to reaffirm existing supports close to home.

“There’s more of a structure around what the client wants which has built up recovery capital, and the familial supports available to them,’’ Manager Ben Wells said.

“Recovery coaches are different from support coordinators in that they bring to each client specialist knowledge and skills – often honed over many years – in psychosocial recovery, mental health, and service navigation within the mental health system.’’

For more information about Recovery Coaching, please phone Centacare on (08) 8215 6700 or visit our NDIS Support website.